Posted Date: February 23, 2017

Author:  John Kane, Acting Service Director, Program Management, Federal Student Aid

Subject: REMINDER - Full COD Common Record XML Schema Validation Begins March 2017

As explained in earlier communications, we plan to implement a new version of the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) Common Record XML Schema in March 2017. The new version is 4.0c.

With the implementation of the new schema, we will begin to fully validate all Common Record files against the published COD Common Record XML Schema. This means that if a school submits a Common Record batch that does not conform to the published schema format, it will not be processed by the COD System and the school will receive COD Reject Edit 210.

Currently, in some cases, Federal Student Aid is accepting Common Record batches that do not fully conform to the published schema format. In those cases, the batches are processed by the COD System, but we return COD Warning Edit 211 at the batch level. This warning edit provides the opportunity for a school to know that there is an XML coding issue. Beginning in March 2017, the warning edit will no longer be returned. Instead, the Common Record batch will be rejected at the batch level with COD Reject Edit 210, and the records included in the batch will not be processed.

COD Common Record XML Schema Change – What Schools can Expect Before and After March 24, 2017

On or Before March 24, 2017 – As noted previously, in some cases, Common Record batches with minor XML schema errors will be processed by the COD System and returned with COD Warning Edit 211. Schools should carefully examine these files or work with their software provider, if applicable, and correct the XML errors. COD Common Record Schema information as well as the COD Technical Reference are posted on the Information for Financial Aid Professional (IFAP) website.

After March 24, 2017 – Common Record batches with XML schema errors will be rejected by the COD System and returned with COD Reject Edit 210. Note: Because this is a batch level edit, it does not show the specific tags or records that have XML errors. Schools will need to work with their system team or software vendor to fix the XML errors before resubmitting the batch.

COD Testing Support – As we do each year, COD testing is available to allow schools to send test data to the COD System prior to processing and submitting production data using the new schema version. Detailed information about COD Testing can be found in a November 18, 2016 Electronic Announcement. Additional testing documentation is found in Volume V of the COD Technical Reference.

In addition, schools can use an XML validator program to test its XML files prior to sending them to the COD System. Use of an XML validator tool is optional and a school will need to find the right XML validator tool based on its individual circumstances. There are many free, open source XML Validator programs that can be downloaded from the internet. Some schools may need to work directly with their technical staff or software provider to select an appropriate XML validator tool. We provide step-by-step instructions for how a school can use an XML validator program with our posted COD XML Schema files on the IFAP website.

We appreciate your cooperation in preparing for the COD Common Record XML Schema change. Information about all COD System changes planned for March 2017 will be posted in a forthcoming announcement on the IFAP website.

Contact Information

If you have questions about the COD Common Record XML Schema, contact the COD School Relations Center at 800/474-7268 for Grants or 800/848-0978 for Direct Loans. You may also email CODSupport@ed.gov.

   

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